birch and grasses alone on the snow, grey sky indistinguishable. the flat world falls into the edge of time, lifeless, dull wedge of horizon and soundless ...
12 December 2010
My Garden in December
My wife and I recently spent two weeks in Turkey and Greece, our first vacation in the eastern Mediterranean. We loved the hamsi in Istanbul, the pomegranate syrup in Sirinci, Turkey, and the kebaps in Athens. But, what really struck me was a simple breakfast treat at our hotel in Athens, a small, clear glass filled with yogurt, honey, and pistachios. I was reminded that all food, when made with good ingredients, nourishes and sustains. The quality of the ingredients was outstanding, and the honey especially captured the intensity of the dry, fragrant shrublands known in the Mediterranean as garrigue. Just as great wine comes from stressed vines, it seems that great honey also comes from the stressed heather, thyme and other plants of the region. And where do the cows that make such yogurt graze? The few we saw were wandering through the same rocky terrain that obviously yielded much (including olive oil) despite its inhospitable appearance.
Foods that capture and embody the particulars of place leave a lasting memory, and remind us that what we eat is as rich with history and culture as the beautiful sights we travel to see.